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How to Schedule More Profitable Procedures (Green Time)

Hello, everybody. One of the most, I think, important things Dr. Dawson ever taught me was the concept of green time. And you can call green time go time, or time that's being held for more profitable things in the practice. But the way I think about green time is holding blocks of time in my schedule for things that are going to be cerebral; things where I'm going to have to have complete focus for what I'm doing.

And certainly, as I evolved in my understanding of the Dawson Academy's principles and I started to get acceptance on bigger cases, whether it was maybe an equilibration in ten anterior crowns, or as I've evolved into placing some of my bone implants, I need to have blocks of time where I can sit down for anywhere from one to four hours, depending on the length of the case, and to just have that to focus on.

So that means during that green time I don't have emergencies in that time. I don't have the little DO composite stuck in the next room. The team needs to know that during a green time slot only specific things go there. So for me as a morning person, I typically like to start the day by working on a treatment plan, to doing a case presentation, and then right at about 8:00 since we work sort of a 7 to 3 schedule.

But even before that when I worked 8 to 5, usually I spent my first hour, treatment-planning and doing a consult, and then at the beginning of that second hour, the block started. And so they understand from, say, 9 to 1 or - in the case that it is now - from 8 to 12, a couple days a week, those are for green time.


Now here's the rule, though. Let's say in your scenario you decide to hold a green time slot on a Monday and a Wednesday, and the rule is that you don't just put the nuts and bolts in there. So you're holding time for somebody to say yes, but what we hear a lot is, "Well Doc, when we did that, all of a sudden I got to a Tuesday afternoon, and I looked down and my Wednesday was wide open." 

The rule is is that when you're huddling and as you're looking for your schedule, look at your schedule for today, for tomorrow, and one week from today. If your green time spot is open, you either need to make a plan to fill it - maybe there's somebody from hygiene that's coming in tomorrow that has a treatment plan outstanding that you can talk to - but if you get within a few days of a green time that's open, then you can start filling it with nuts and bolts.

My concern for you all is if you don't hold time for the bigger things then as you're running a busy general schedule and somebody says "yes," the last thing the person wants to hear is they're gonna start their restorative treatment four months from now.

So green-time was one of the most important concepts Dr. Dawson ever taught me; what I would tell you is to sit down with your team, talk to them a little bit about what that is and what your vision for it is and then hold them accountable. If you do that, I think you'll have success beyond what you can even imagine.

So for now, that's been quick tips. Thanks for tuning in. I'll see you next time.

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John C. Cranham, DDS has an esthetic oriented practice in Chesapeake, Virginia. An honors graduate of the Medical College of Virginia in 1988, Dr. Cranham maintains a strong relationship with his alma mater as an Associate Clinical Professor. He is an internationally recognized speaker on the Esthetic Principles of Dentistry, Contemporary Occlusal Concepts, Treatment Planning, Restoration Selection, Digital Photography, Laboratory Communication, and Happiness and Fulfillment in dentistry. As a published author, Dr. Cranham has a strong commitment to developing sound educational programs that exceed the needs of today’s dental professional. He is an active member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, The American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and The American Equilibration Society. Dr. Cranham is co-chair of Advanstar Dental Media’s CE Advisory Board (Advanstar is the publisher of Dental Products Report). Dr. Cranham is the Clinical Director of The Dawson Academy where he is involved with many of the lecture and hands-on courses within the curriculum. As an active educator, he has provided over 650 days of continuing education for dental professionals throughout the world.